Given By Rev. Carl Crider April 30, 2017

Racism is the subject of today’s sermon. Rev. Carl Crider recalls the first incidence that he experienced being taught how to live in a racist society. His grandmother scolded him for drinking from their black servant’s cup. He was only four years old.  Twenty years later, after having a heart-to-heart with her grandson, she changed. While in elementary school, after being called names for his accepting view on blacks, Rev. Crider read the passage from Matthew that is today’s reading. It had a profound effect on him. It talks about the least of these. He realized you can’t limit it to the people that Jesus describes though. It must include everyone in need. The least of these are without power. They can’t participate in society as they should. He gives an example from the military rank and rate system. White sailors went faster up the chain of rate than minority sailors. Upon investigation, the minorities were not given the opportunities for training as the whites were. Blacks mopped the floors while whites learned how to operate the radio. This is institutional racism. We see this is our government. The administration is laying off people. This has the biggest impact on minorities and women. Rev. Crider wants to redefine this reading so we also think of the best of these. Dreamers, servicemen and women who are looking for work, LGBTQ looking for basic rights, and religious minorities who are facing discrimination, all represent the best of us.  Change occurs when ordinary people make a stand. May we stand up for the least of these and be lead by the best of these.